25 Toddler Products Under $20 Parent Reviewers Have Said Are "Must-Haves"
From washable dot markers to sink extenders, toddler parents just can't stop adding these items to their cart.
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. A pack of bright laminated flash cards to help little Einsteins soak up their ABCs, 123s, shapes, and colors. They're like knowledge sponges at this age, so why not start them early?
Promising review: "My 2-year-old recognizes all her number and alphabets so she needed something to challenge her. These cards are it. Shapes, colors, number, counting animals — there is so much to learn, and so many games you can make up. A must-have for any toddler." —IG: Pink_confession
Get a pack of 58 cards from Amazon for $12.99 (also available for babies).
2. And a 100 Words Book that'll interact with budding scholars and help build their vocabulary in English and Spanish.
Promising review: "This may be my favorite LeapFrog toy yet!! So much to teach children, two languages, and it has actually kept my 1-year-old's attention for more than 60 seconds!!! It’s a must-have toy in my opinion!" —Megan Hennegan
Promising review: "Our 18-month-old toddler loves it! Clear words makes it easy for babies to repeat. A must-have toy 👍" —Zaida
Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
3. A pack of sink extenders for saving your back the strain of hoisting your little one over the sink. Not to mention they'll love the independence of washing their hands all by themselves.
Promising review: "Must-have for toddlers and small children! LOVE this! My 1- and 3-year-old love washing their hands now, and my back gets a nice break. Adding the faucet extenders and a stepstool to our bedtime/morning routine has been a godsend. Great bargain for the price." —TeaBea21
Get a two-pack from Amazon for $10.99.
4. And a pack of ingenious light switch extenders with an easy to grab moon-shaped handle so kiddos can turn the lights on and off ~all by themselves.~ The best part? These glow in the dark.
These install in minutes on standard light switches.
Promising review: "Must-have for toddlers! Perfect solution! As my toddler's independence soars, so do frustrations. This light switch extender pack was a great buy. He can now turn on the lights in his room and bathroom. Installation was easy and works as expected." —AW
Get a pack of two from Amazon for $16.99.
5. An EZPZ silicone mini training cup and straw combo designed by a pediatric feeding specialist to teach toddlers to safely drink from an open cup and straw. It'll fit perfectly in chubby little hands (thanks to the weighted bottom) and make the transition from the bottle to the cup, well, easy peasy.
EZPZ is is a woman-owned biz that creates developmentally focused, minimalist tableware for little ones.
P.S. The cup and straw are made from 100% toxin-free silicone (no BPA, BPS, PVC, latex, or phthalates). The food-grade silicone is safe for your toddler’s developing teeth + gums and dishwasher safe.
Promising review: "Must-have! I had been concerned that my 1-year-old wasn’t picking up straw drinking easily. The day the straw training cup arrived, she began drinking from a straw!! Yay! Made me so unbelievably happy! Of course, the cup is darling and the design detail is excellent. The speech pathologist who constructed the cup knew exactly what she was doing. I highly recommend you get this cup!" —Rachel
Get it from EZPZ for $17.49.
6. A set of washable dab and dot markers so little Picassos can ~dabble~ in painting without the mess of paints and brushes.
The set comes with eight paint markers and a downloadable 101 Easy Dot Marker Activities PDF.
Promising review: "A must-have for toddlers. My son started using this when he was 2 and now he is 3. We've used this everyday and he never gets tired of it. He just loves doing dab and dot with letters and numbers. I also love the free printables included and I love how easy it is for my son to hold it with his tiny hands. I definitely recommend it." —Heriberto Mendoza
Get a set from Amazon for $17.99.
7. A leave-in conditioning spray for curly hair to help restore your little one's curls to their former glory once more! It's also free from any toxic stuff including parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Reviewers say this spray will leave wavy or curly hair (from 2a–4c hair) shiny, soft, and bouncy.
Promising review: "A must-have. Best product I’ve found for my little one's hair." —Jose Orellana
Promising review: "You need this! My 2-year-old daughter has curly frizzy hair. And I have tried sooo many leave in conditioners to tame her hair. Nothing thus far has worked. But this stuff is amazing! Truly defines her curls without any hold or crunch. Soft bouncy curls. The smell is quite strong- but it does smell good. If you are sensitive to smells you might want to prepare yourself ahead of time for this. I will buy this again and again. So glad I found something that works for my toddler's curls." —mike
Get it from Amazon for $7.99.
8. And a detangling brush boasting flexible bead-less bristles that'll glide through knots to turn your kiddo's daily hair-brushing ordeal into a painless experience minus the *ouchies or tears* (for both of you). Just trust the 30,000+ people who gave it a 5-star review.
Reviewers swear this brush works on all hair types: straight, wavy, or curly (from 3a–4c hair).
Promising review: "Brushing hair was a nightmare for my toddler. She is so happy with this item, She brushes her hair by herself now. This is a must-have brush, especially for mixed kids or Afro hair." —pelin ercan
Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in six colors).
9. A Melissa & Doug activity book with a pair of safe scissors to channel (*cough* destructive) energy into a creative activity that'll put their fine motor skills to the test.
Promising review: "Must-have for toddlers. My 3-year-old loves doing these cut outs and I enjoy them as well. The pictures are vibrant and pleasing. The puzzles are fun. The scissors are wonderful for small hands." —Holly
Promising review: "Must-have for your toddler needing to learn scissor skills! And they actually cut, so long as you are holding the scissors straight (which teaches your child proper form). Will have to eventually move onto a bladed scissor, but these are perfect for learning." —L. Anderson
Get it from Amazon for $6.99.
10. And a Melissa & Doug magnetic calendar for teaching them the days of the week, months and the weather in a hands-on, interactive way. They'll jump out of bed eagerly to update it every morning.
Promising review: "Great for curious toddlers. Almost-3-year-old loves it. After getting this he’s now asking me 'today’s Tuesday mom?' And 'it’s winter now?' He likes the holiday magnets and trying to figure out where to put the arrow for the temperature each day. It is sort of heavy, so I would recommend using a nail to hang it or Command strips around the rope so you don’t damage your wall. I used a Velcro heavy weight Command strip and it has held up for a few months now. We tried attaching Command strips to the back of the wood and it wasn’t holding to that material. This is a must-have for toddlers." —Steph
Get it from Amazon for $18.99.
11. A sleek touchless forehead thermometer with a built-in sensor that measures in seconds. Added bonus: You can take your baby's temperature while they're sleeping.
12. And a pack of soothing stick-on gel pads sized to fit kids' foreheads that'll provide cooling relief for up to eight hours. Reviewers say these alleviate discomfort and help bring down a fever.
Each pack contains four sheets.
Promising review: "A must-have in my house! I absolutely LOVE this product. I have a 3-year-old and a 6-year-old, and it works wonders! For persistent fevers, I put one sheet on their forehead, then cut a second sheet in half (one placed on their back, another on the abdomen). If it's really bad, I'll cut it into fourths (both underarms, both inner thighs) to keep control of the main heat sources. My kids have no problem sleeping with them on. They stay solidly cool for about five hours and cooler than room temp for another two hours. They don't hurt at all when it's time to peel off — way easier than a bandaid! It's also great for boo-boos. Instead of expecting my 3-year-old to hold an ice pack on his face after knocking it on the coffee table, I just cut one of those strips to the appropriate size, stick it to the boo-boo, and we're good to go!" —Gracie's Choice
Get a pack of three from Amazon for $13.99.
13. A pack of spill-proof Munchkin snack catchers featuring flexible flaps that'll allow easy access for little hands BUT prevent Cheerios from *flying everywhere*. Not having to clean your toddler's trail of snacks? These deserve a gold medal, if you ask me.
Promising review: "These are a must-have for a small toddler and their snacks. The top is soft and flexible so I don’t have to worry about my little guy scratching his little hands when he’s digging around in the cup. Very easy to clean and they’re priced well. Buy them now!" —Wooty
Get a pack of two from Amazon for $5.95 (available in two color combos).
14. A pack of toilet seat covers to have on hand if your potty-trained toddler loves to get their hands ALL OVER gross public restroom seats.
Promising review: "Must-have! If you have a toddler these are a MUST! We travel and it gives us peace of mind knowing that no matter where we are, as long as we have these covers we can safely take her to the bathroom and everything is ok. Before we found these, I used to be super stressed when she would ask to use the bathroom and we were out and about but not anymore. They have cute colors and are big enough." —Dayanna Pita
Get a pack of 24 covers from Amazon for $9.99.
15. And a potty training chart that'll provide positive reinforcement (aka a dino sticker) each time they successfully use the "big potty." A little bribery never hurt anyone...right?
The set includes four weeks of training charts, a step-by-step visual chart to using the potty for the kiddos, and eight-page potty training guide, two celebratory crowns, a certificate of completion, 200 stickers, three cards, and an erasable marker.
Promising review: "This sticker chart is a must-have for potty training. My daughter is already making so much progress with this sticker chart. Amazing!" —Bailey Rowland
Get it from Amazon for $9.95.
16. A whale-shaped bath spout cover for preventing bonks on the head when little ones are having a ~whale~ of a good time in the bath. Plus, it comes with an adjustable strap to fit snugly on any faucet.
Promising review: "My 1-year-old was always getting close to the faucet to play with the water and would end up crying all the time because he would end up bumping his head. But this saved him from that. Now he gets to enjoy the water without bumping his head, and if he does it won't hurt him since the whale is made of rubber. It's a plus that I can hang the spray tub lower and not have to stretch in my tippie toes every night. It's adjustable, so it fits pretty much all the faucets. This is a must-have if you have little ones." —Sam
Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (available in two colors).
17. And a pack of corner guards to protect your toddler's fragile head from big bumps when they walk precariously close to a sharp coffee table. The best part? They're incredibly discreet so your home can be kid-friendly *and* adult-looking.
Promising review: "Must-have for small children. When my toddler was running one day and smoked the corner of the island I knew I had to do something. These were perfect. They stuck on the corners great and most importantly will prevent the need for stitches if your child doesn't make a wide enough turn." —Tev
Get it from Amazon for $9.98.
18. A bath toy organizer with 9,000 5-star reviews (!!!) that reviewers swear will actually stick to your wall, tidy your bathtub, and keep toys dry and within arm's reach. What more could you ask for?
Promising review: "This has been a game-changer for the whole bath toy tub time mess problem. The toys hang on the bath wall and dry in the mesh bag. It's great and holds a lot of toys! And it doesn't take up any space in the bathroom. Definitely a must-have for any toddler!" —Katie V.
Get it from Amazon for $9.98+ (available in two sizes and pre-stocked with toys or by itself).
19. A pack of silicone dino ice pop molds that'll take homemade popsicles to a ~dino-mite~ level, y'all. Just fill them with juice, yogurt, or smoothies to make healthier versions of store-bought ones.
Promising review: "Toddler snack must-have. I absolutely love these molds. The silicone is good quality because it peels off the pops easily and I use them quite often — they are pretty durable. Both my toddler and preschooler love them although the pop portion size is generous for my younger. The bone holders are hilarious and the yogurt we use looks exactly like a dino as expected after frozen. These work great and are really fun shapes so I highly recommend." —TXFan
Get a pack of four from Amazon for $9.99.